An estimated 22% of collisions involving light vehicles were attributed to brake-related problems, according to 2015 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Reducing those statistics — as well as avoiding violations and penalties — is why automotive fleet owners should be cognizant of Brake Safety Week, which commences Aug. 23 and runs through Aug. 28.
Spearheaded by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), during Brake Safety Week, commercial motor vehicle inspectors conduct inspections and remove commercial motor vehicles found to have brake-related out-of-service violations from the nation’s roadways.
During last year’s Brake Safety Week, 12% of the 43,565 commercial motor vehicles inspected were placed out of service for brake-related violations.
Moreover, brake-related violations accounted for eight out of the top 20 vehicle violations in 2020, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
But the biggest concern for fleet operators should always be safety. Faulty brakes can be deadly. Consider this fact: “Brake system” was the third most cited vehicle-related factor in fatal commercial motor vehicle and passenger vehicle crashes, according to FMCSA data.
Now is the time to prepare for Brake Safety Week. Fleet operators should be aware and ready for inspectors to conduct North American Standard Inspections of commercial motor vehicles, focusing on the vehicle’s brake systems and components. Additionally, inspectors will compile data on brake hoses/tubing — the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week — to submit to the CVSA.
Finally, August is also Brake Safety Awareness Month. Law enforcement agencies will work to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, mechanics, owner-operators, and others on the importance of proper brake maintenance, operation and performance through outreach, education, and awareness campaigns.